Public and Regulatory

Marine and Fisheries

Full / further Details appear under the Marine and Fisheries section.

David has a commitment to maritime law demonstrated by his successful completion of a masters degree in Maritime Law at Southampton University in 2014-15 whilst in full time practice at the Bar.

He wants to engage with the maritime community both in safe regulation and in supporting those caught in processes they are not prepared for in their every day lives at sea.”

In the last 5 years he has appeared in courts across the UK and in the Falkland Islands on matters relating to collisions, marine navigation offences, fisheries offences and fraud on the European Fisheries Fund.

He has  advised the MCA and defence solicitors and clients on matters arising from oyster fisheries in Kent, the MMO’s penalty points scheme for commercial fishing, the disposal of waste water held on board cargo vessels destined for Turkey and China. He has advised prosecution and defence on the prospects of conviction in various cases concerning marine fatalities.

He has advised on applications for disclosure from the MAIB before the High Court in Winchester and Hull.

He has represented the regulator and the operator of a scrap yard at inquests arising from marine fatalities.

Other Public and Regulatory work

David has a busy practice advising on public and regulatory law issues. Cases include:

  • February 2020: appeared in Westminster Magistrates Court for shopfitting company charged with offences arising from unsafe erection of hoarding in central London site.
  • July 2019: appeared for a London Window Cleaning Company charged with health and safety offences arising from unsafe practices operating at height.
  • July 2018 Bulford Military Court Centre - led by Nigel Lickley QC prosecuting three army officers for their role in the gross negligence manslaughter of a soldier shot dead on army ranges in 2012. The case involved detailed consideration of the regulations applicable to ranges  and the safe operation of live firing exercises. All three accused were convicted after trial.
  • He has represented estate agents prosecuted under the HMO regulations.
  • He has advised as to the proper packaging of foodstuffs.
  • In August 2018 he appeared for a large midlands roofing company in responding to applications for enforcement notices before Coventry County Court.
  • David has appeared for national supermarkets charged with selling out of date food; he has represented dockyard scrap merchants at inquest proceedings. He appeared for the defendant in the first ever trading standards prosecution for the sale of legal highs.
  • Led by Nigel Lickley QC in CPS & MCA v Doug Innes and Stormforce Coaching (Cheeki Rafiki) (2018) he prosecuted a defendant charged with 4 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence after failing to ensure the safety of the yacht Cheeki Rafiki that capsized in the Atlantic causing the deaths of the four crew.  A technically complex case.
  • He has experience of cases concerning the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) regulations 2013. He has appeared in the County Court for the defence in opposing enforcement orders under the Enterprise Act 2002.
  • In 2018 in Folkestone he appeared for care home owners charged with breaches of noise abatement notices.
  • In 2014 at Bournemouth Crown Court he appeared for the defence against the local authority involving the alleged wide scale breach of trade mark and copyright he was determined and uncompromising in resisting the claims against his clients who had inadvertently fallen foul of the local trading standards department.
  • He has represented car dealers charged under the unfair trading regulations.
  • He has represented local authorities prosecuting the deposit of waste without a waste management licence.
  • He has lectured local authorities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight on the EU Toy Safety Directive and the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 and the implications for market surveillance and enforcement thereunder.
  • He has represented Sussex Police and applicants before council committees in matters of alcohol and entertainment licence applications.

Road Haulage

David has appeared before the Traffic Commissioner in Birmingham and Chelmsford and at public enquiries on behalf of hauliers seeking goods vehicle operators licences.

He has developed particular expertise in cases of death through driving and has been involved in more than a dozen such cases in the last five years. These have ranged from two accused racing on country lanes, to a blacksmith with a defective trailer and a haulier with an allegedly insecure load (R v P). He has become adept at dealing with complex issues of causation and analysis of road traffic collisions.

This latter case of R v P required a detailed forensic examination of the reliability of locking mechanisms on a catering trailer; the prosecution evidence that failure of the locks was impossible was challenged, resulting in a volte face by the prosecution expert accepting the possibility of the locks appearing secure yet failing during the course of the journey. David was praised for the clarity of his advice in this matter, without which the client (54 years old, never been in court before) would have found the case overwhelming.

In 2013 he represented a driver charged with causing the death of two Afghan civilians through careless driving of a 15 ton vehicle. Through challenging the prosecution expert evidence the case was dropped by the SPA.

Police Law

David has appeared on behalf of and advised claimants against the police for the excessive use of force and libel / slander / breach of duty. He has advised on the options open to a claimant aggrieved by police action amounting to potential false imprisonment and malicious prosecution of a judicial office holder.

He has appeared for the police at disciplinary tribunals. He has advised and assisted the police in obtaining various orders including Risk of Sexual Harm Orders and Premises Closure Orders

Service Law

David served in the Army from 1992 - 6, deploying on operations in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. He knows the stresses of service life. He wants to assist those caught in the service justice system in navigating the processes that can be immensely daunting to people unfamiliar with the criminal process, having spent their working lives in the service of their country.

In May and June 2018 David was led by Nigel Lickley QC in the successful prosecution of an Army Captain for the gross negligence manslaughter of a soldier on ranges he was running in Castlemartin, Wales in May 2012. The case concerned the safe operation of a live firing range; experts in ballistics, pathology and range management were called to address the key factual issues of where the fatal round came from and the extent of the fault that attached to the accused.

Also tried by the same court were a Lieutenant Colonel and Sgt Major both of who were convicted of negligent performance of their duties in the planning for, setting up and running of these ranges. The prosecution followed investigations by Dyfed Powys police, the Health and Safety Executive, the Army’s Land Accident Investigation team and a coronial inquest. Despite complex legal challenges and an extremely complicated factual scenario the case was brought to trial and successfully prosecuted.

From 2015 to 2016 David held the  post of Principal Legal Adviser to the Director of Service Prosecutions. This role placed him at the heart of the Service Justice System. He introduced new measures for cooperation and engagement between the service prosecuting authority and the service police. Working with the Judge Advocate General he guided the introduction of Better Case Management in the Court Martial.

This builds on his background as an army legal service officer (1992-6) and his regular and frequent appearances before the Court Martial. He has defended cases of attempted murder, rape, corruption, service fraud, gbh with intent and child abuse. He has been instructed to prosecute cases of rape on behalf of the Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA).

He has previously represented the SPA in the Administrative Court (R v MoD (ex p Al Sweady) [2009]) and has taken a case (R v Bulford Court Martial ex p Bowyer (1999) EWHC 239) to the House of Lords.

He secured the first successful challenge to a terminating ruling by a judge advocate (R v B and B [2010].

His articles on the service justice system have appeared in the Criminal Law Review and he has lectured the Service Prosecuting Authority and defence solicitors.

He has Developed Vetting Security Clearance.

 

Marine and Fisheries Law

David has a commitment to maritime law demonstrated by his successful completion of a masters degree in Maritime Law at Southampton University 2014-15 whilst in full time practice at the Bar

In the last 5 years he has appeared in courts across the UK and in the Falkland Islands on matters relating to collisions, marine navigation offences, fisheries offences and fraud on the European Fisheries Fund.

He has  advised the MCA and defence solicitors and clients on matters arising from oyster fisheries in Kent, the MMO’s penalty points scheme for commercial fishing, the disposal of waste held on board cargo vessels destined for Turkey and China. He has advised prosecution and defence on the prospects of conviction in various cases concerning marine fatalities.

He has advised on applications for disclosure from the MAIB before the High Court in Winchester and Hull.

He has represented the regulator and the operator of a scrap yard at inquests arising from marine fatalities.

Notable Cases

  • R v M – Lewes Crown Court December 2019: prosecution of fisherman charged with Merchant Shipping Act offence arising from the deaths of 3 leisure fishermen.
  • Re K: advised commercial fishing company as to the proper application of and challenge to the Marine Management Organisation’s penalty points scheme resulting in suspension of licences for fishing vessels.
  • Apr 2018 R v Innes (Winchester Crown Court) (’The Cheeki Rafiki’ trial) led by Nigel Lickley QC prosecuting the managing operator of a commercial yacht for the unsafe operation of the vessel resulting in the death of 4 sailors while crossing the Atlantic in the vessel Cheeki Rafiki.He has recently advised as to the regulations governing disposal of water held on board a vessel following a fire in Southampton Docks.
  • November 2017 (Hull Crown Court): R v S: defence of a pilot charged under s.21 Pilotage Act 1987 following collision between the City of Rotterdam and the Primula Seaways in the Humber at about 8.30pm on 3rd December 2015. The case involved multiple experts as to both the design of the vessel and the duties of pilots and masters under Coll Regs and IMO Res 960.
  • R v B July 2015 (Newcastle Crown Court) - Defence of owner of crab processing factory in charges of fraud relating to the European fisheries fund.
  • Inquest into death of PH June 2015 (Portsmouth)Representing owner of marine scrap yard following death of sub contractor on site.
  • R v B September 2014 (Portsmouth Crown Court)Defence in alleged fraud on the European Fisheries Fund.
  • R v F August 2014 (Bournemouth Crown Court) - Successfully argued the accused, suffering acute psychotic disorder, was not guilty by reason of insanity.

Articles  

David Richards reviews Fleet Maritime Services v the Pensions Regulator, on the applicability of automatic pensions enrolment for peripatetic employees

Seminars 

David hosted a seminar exploring the implications of Brexit for the UK fisheries industry. Together with Andrew Oliver of Andrew Jackson and Co. they discussed future regulation following Brexit with representatives of the industry from across England and Wales and from both fishers, POs and regulators. Following presentations and a round table discussion the meeting concluded that areas of most concern looking forward are:

  • Whether the Great Repeal Bill will be an exercise in buying time by the government
  • The need to reclaim territorial waters for exclusive use of the UK inshore fleet and to serve notice under the London Convention 1964
  • The need to strengthen the economic link requirements for flag ships
  • The assertion of UK regulation of technical requirements, as is done by Norway and Iceland
  • To ensure proper, full and as far as possible unified input from the whole industry to the Government’s Brexit Group Monthly Meeting

Police law

David Richards has appeared for police forces in the following matters:

  • licensing: firearms, liquor and entertainment licensing - before local authority committees and magistrates courts
  • Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk orders - appeals in the Crown Court
  • Cash seizure proceedings in Magistrates and Crown courts
  • Police Disciplinary Tribunals - matters of violent and sexual misconduct and dishonesty

He has also advised the police on obtaining of medical records prior to charging; crack house closure orders and conflict of jurisdiction (ref service personnel) in matters of historic sexual allegations.

 

Publications

  • 11th May 2020

    3PB’s David Richards, Head of the national chambers’ Public & Regulatory Law team, and pupil barrister Dr Tagbo Ilozue have reviewed three new regulatory key cases, covering environment regulation, food safety and housing regulations, all handed down since the UK went into lockdown.

    View Publication
  • 5th May 2020

    3PB Barristers’ regulatory counsel David Richards, Head of the national chambers’ Public & Regulatory Law team and pupil barrister Dr Tagbo Ilozue have published a digest of recent criminal law developments and relevant case law since the UK went into lockdown.

    View Publication
  • 28th Apr 2020

    David Richards, head of the marine group at 3PB and fellow barrister Dr Tagbo Ilozue have reviewed national and international maritime responses to the Covid 19 crisis, looking in particular at the UK regulatory framework that may be used to police responses to the coronavirus beyond the current lockdown.

    View Publication
  • 2nd Sep 2016

    3PB's David Richards reviews Fleet Maritime Services v the Pensions Regulator, on the applicability of automatic pensions enrolment for peripatetic employees

    View Publication

Recommendations

‘An experienced advocate who has excellent client skills.’
Legal 500 2020/Crime - Tier 1

‘Thorough, hardworking, and excellent at marshalling evidence.’
Legal 500 2020/Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing - Tier 1

"A winner with judges and juries."
Legal 500 2018/19/Crime - Tier 1

“I owe him and my solicitor everything”: BB - client charged with fraud on the European Fisheries Fund
Client testimonial

“A credit to the profession”
HHJ FS - following trial of two police officers

“Outstanding”
HHJ JB - following rape trial of officer cadet

 

View Full CV

Academic qualifications

  • MA (Cantab) 1988
  • Bar Finals 1989
  • New York State Bar 2000
  • LLM Maritime Law Southampton University 2015

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Principal Legal Adviser to the Director of Service Prosecutions 2015-16
  • Grade 4 prosecutor
  • CPS Rape Specialist
  • Recorder, Midlands Circuit
  • Legal Assessor Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Specialist Regulatory Advocates in H&S and Environmental Law List

Professional bodies

  • Western Circuit
  • Health and Safety Lawyers Association

Direct Access

David Richards is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

More Information

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